WACO, Texas – The Kansas State Wildcats finally got angry about their performance, and it seemed to make a difference in the second half of their last game.
"I think there is that, what I've been looking for, that anger," coach Bill Snyder said. "That's not at anybody other than ourselves, in regards to how we are playing."
While that response came too late against Texas, maybe the Wildcats (2-3, 0-2 Big 12) can start out better Saturday at Baylor (3-2, 1-1), a team that has already tripled its victory total in coach Matt Rhule's second season.
"We know that it is time to bounce back. After that second half last week, we have shown some potential," K-State running back Alex Barnes said. "It is about being able to find the mindset and going through four quarters with that same mindset."
K-State trailed 19-0 at home last week against the Longhorns. Barnes and Fort Osage High School graduate Skylar Thompson, the quarterback who took over in the second half, then ran for touchdowns before the Wildcats lost 19-14. K-State's defense actually allowed only 10 points since Texas also scored on a safety and a punt return.
"The thing in the second half, and Skylar was part of it ... there was an immense determination from the players and the program," Snyder said.
Snyder this week got testy after repeated questions about the quarterback situation, and the 78-year-old coach eventually told a reporter to just write whatever he wanted to.
Alex Delton completed 3 of 7 passes for 14 yards and ran for 27 yards on 16 carries in the first half against Texas, his first start of the season. He was also tackled for a safety.
Baylor has also used two quarterbacks this season, but sophomore Charlie Brewer has started every game ahead of graduate transfer Jalan McClendon. Brewer threw for 400 yards and two touchdowns last week at No. 7 Oklahoma.
Brewer has started nine games in a row. The Bears are 4-5 in that stretch, after losing 14 of 15 games before that, and averaged 464 total yards a game. Brewer has thrown for 277 yards a game with 17 touchdowns and four interceptions.
BIG DIFFERENCE: After Oklahoma's big-play offense put up 66 points, the Bears now face a Kansas State team that averages only 20 points a game.
"The biggest thing about Kansas State is twofold. No. 1, they're physical, tough, they run the ball downhill at you, they control the clock, and they don't beat themselves," Rhule said. "The second part is they have the added component of the quarterback run."
CAN 'CATS RECOVER? The Wildcats are under .500 through at least five games for the fourth time since 2013. The last three times (2013, 2015 and 2017), K-State rallied and became bowl eligible. After a 3-4 start last year, K-State won four of its last five regular-season games.
"We are not even worried about a bowl right now," Barnes said. "It has been awhile since we won a good game where we played well in all four quarters, so that is what we are trying to do."
IN THE RIGHT PLACE: Baylor long snapper Ross Matiscik has recovered a fumble in each of the last two games against Kansas State.
NEAR THE BOTTOM: Kansas State ranks ninth in the 10-team Big 12 with 19.6 points and 321 yards per game. The Wildcats are also at 146 yards rushing per game, and are the league's worst at 175 yards passing a game.
"Well I think, kind of like anything else in life, you just keep rowing the boat or sawing the wood or just keep on keeping on," Snyder said. "You keep trying to get better and work diligently, and hopefully, indeed, that you improve."